Quarantine’ less than the original

For those planning to put Hollywood’s latest horror, Quarantine, on their Halloween weekend agenda, just spend the money on a better costume.

Based on the acclaimed Spanish horror movie [REC], Quarantine chronicles the events of one night documented by a news reporter and her cameraman.

What began as a documentary on the local fire department changed when they went to an apartment building after a dispatch call.

A military quarantine was imposed on everyone in the building. The film chronicles their fight for freedom as well as their struggle to survive as the trapped individuals find themselves victims of an unknown aggressor.

The film implements the "shaky camera" approach, joining the ranks of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield.

For those who found Cloverfield to be grossly nauseating and vertiginous, expect to endure a considerable amount more duress.

Stylistically the film’s innovation to this up and coming concept is limited to cheap scares and thrills. The film had a lot to work with that wasn’t fully maximized.

Quarantine didn’t advocate strongly enough the element of claustrophobia. Cloverfield had a unique feel of claustrophobia despite being set in an entirely urban landscape.

However, it wasn’t anything like that until the final quarter of the film. When you’re going to title a movie Quarantine and the story is one of confinement and struggle, it seems misguided to leave out claustrophobia as one of the major elements.

How is it supposed to be scary if everyone has this seemingly endless freedom of motion? The original version of this film understood that, hence its great acclaim.

It says something that the only remotely scary scenes in the remake are those that were almost identical to ones in the original. What is a horror movie without a guiding element?

The characters of this film were horribly cardboard as well. There were no characters from which the audience could draw significant connection.

What is the point of being the main character of a horror movie if you cannot evoke sympathy from the audience? Many in the audience actually laughed. That is an even more extreme disconnect than apathy.

The visuals were good but not enough to be saving grace.

The ghouls in this movie were enjoyable, trumping even the 28 Days Later zombies.

The nature of American horror remakes stays consistent in Quarantine as well. Most American horror films delve into rational and scientific explanations, but foreign horror films use elements of the paranormal, psychic and mystical to explain their premises.

If you liked The Ring more than Ringu, then you would probably appreciate this movie more than the original by a small margin.

However if you liked Ringu more, then expect something freakishly scary in [REC].

Keep Quarantine out of your plans and perhaps catch it on HBO next year, but if you have to watch something scary, watch [REC] on YouTube; it’s better than Quarantine. Anybody can watch a scene from Quarantine and not flinch. [REC] will actually make you jump.

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